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Nikon Coolpix S5300 Review

Daniel Bell reviews the Nikon Coolpix S5300, a compact camera with a 16 megapixel sensor, 8x optical zoom and built-in Wi-Fi.

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Nikon Coolpix S5300 Purple (5)

The Nikon Coolpix S5300 was announced in January 2014 and is a Wi-Fi enabled compact camera which also features a 16 megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor and an 8x optical zoom lens. It is available in either plum or black and costs around £147.

Nikon Coolpix S5300 Purple (1)

Nikon Coolpix S5300 Features

The Nikon Coolpix S5300 has a 16.0 megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor and an 8x optical zoom lens, which is a 35mm equivalent of 25-200mm. There is hybrid image stabilisation, combining Lens Shift VR and Electronic VR, to help reduce blur and camera shake. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of just 2cm for macro shots and the S5300 can shoot full resolution images at 8.4 fps for up to 7 shots.
The S5300 has an auto mode which adjusts the settings automatically for the detected scene, with the camera choosing from 18 scenes. There is the Smart Portrait System which includes Smile Timer, Blink Proof alerting and Red-Eye Fix. After shooting your portraits they can be enhanced using Advanced Glamour Retouch, which includes 12 retouch effects such as add make-up and hide eye-bags. You can also edit your images via the Retouch menu with 32 quick effects, which includes Selective Colour. The Easy Panorama mode shoots 360° and 180° panoramas by simply panning the camera.
The S5300 has built-in Wi-Fi allowing you to use a smartphone or tablet as a remote control or so you can edit and share your images. You can also use the GPS from your mobile device to geotag images. Images can be edited via playback using the retouch menu where there are a number of effects such as soft portrait and photo illustration.
Videos are recorded in full 1080p HD with stereo sound and optical zoom available.

Nikon Coolpix S5300 Purple (6)

Key Features

  • 16 megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor
  • 8x optical zoom lens (35mm equiv: 25-200mm)
  • Optical image stabilisation
  • 3.0 inch 460k dot LCD screen
  • Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Full 1080p HD video recording with stereo sound
  • ISO 125-6400
  • 2cm minimum focusing distance
  • 8.4 fps continuous shooting
  • Easy panorama mode
  • Available in plum or black
Nikon Coolpix S5300 Purple (7)

Nikon Coolpix S5300 Handling

The Nikon Coolpix S5300 has a compact, pocketable body with a metal front. To aid grip there is a number of dots on the rear where your right hand thumb sits. On top of the camera is the on / off button, alongside the zoom rocker and shutter release. On the rear are movie record, mode, playback, menu and delete buttons as well as a d-pad for cycling through the menus. The d-pad also gives quick access to the flash, exposure compensation, macro and self-timer.
Also on the rear is the 3.0 inch screen which has a decent 460k dot resolution, and an anti-reflective coating, making it easy to see even in bright sunlight. The menu system is simple and easy to navigate. Each time you take a shot you are given the option to add a quick filter, although this can be turned off if you prefer.

Connecting to the Wi-Fi is easy. There is a Wi-Fi section within the menu, the first option is to connect to a smart device. Hit this and connect to the Wi-Fi using your smartphone or tablet - you then need to open the Nikon Wireless Mobile Utility app. You can then either take or view photos.

Nikon Coolpix S5300 App Screenshot 1 Nikon Coolpix S5300 App Screenshot 2 Nikon Coolpix S5300 App Screenshot 6

Battery life is rated at 180 shots according to Nikon / CIPA standards, which is poor, even for a compact camera. We took a number of shots to test the camera's responsiveness, from switch on to first photo, shot to shot, focusing speed etc. We take a number of shots and then use the average to ensure accurate and consistent tests, making it easy to compare with other cameras.
Shutter Response   0.09 secs
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response   0.55 secs
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response   0.7 secs
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo   1.45 secs
Shot to Shot without Flash   1.9 secs
Shot to Shot with Flash   2.7 secs
Continuous Shooting H   6.9 fps
Continuous Shooting L   2.1 fps
Continuous Shooting H: 120 fps   123.1 fps
Continuous Shooting H: 60 fps   60.6 fps

The continuous H & L modes both record in full 16 megapixel resolution, whereas the 120 fps and 60 fps modes record VGA and 1 megapixel images respectively.

Nikon Coolpix S5300 Purple (8)

Nikon Coolpix S5300 Performance

Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.

Nikon Coolpix S5300 Sample Photos

Sample Photos - The Nikon Coolpix S5300 takes pictures that are well exposed with good colour reproduction, although performance in low light is a little disappointing. Portraits have good, soft skin tones which are free of red-eye when using the flash.

Nikon Coolpix S5300 Lens test images

Lens Performance - Images have a decent amount of detail whichever end of the lens you are shooting at. There is a little purple fringing, but it is kept very low. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of just 2cm which allows for a good macro shot.

Nikon Coolpix S5300 ISO test images

ISO Noise Performance - Images are noise free at ISO 125 and 200. Although there is a little appearing at ISO 400 and 800, the images remain sharp with plenty of detail. The camera is working hard at ISO 1600 to maintain sharpness and does a reasonable job, although there is clearly softness in places. Quite a lot of detail is missing at ISO 3200, with poor image quality at ISO 6400.

Nikon Coolpix S5300 White-balance test images

White Balance Performance - Under the incandescent lights, the Auto White Balance (AWB) performs well, although there is a slight colour cast. Better results are achieved using the incandescent preset. The AWB performs well when shooting under the fluorescent lights, the fluorescent preset takes a picture with a strong magenta cast.

Panorama 180 | 1/1250 sec | f/4.0 | 5.2 mm | ISO 125
Panorama 180 | 1/1250 sec | f/4.0 | 5.2 mm | ISO 125

Panorama 360 | 1/1000 sec | f/4.0 | 5.2 mm | ISO 125
Panorama 360 | 1/1000 sec | f/4.0 | 5.2 mm | ISO 125

Panorama mode - Panoramas have a reasonable amount of detail - they are also well exposed with a constant exposure throughout. 360° panoramas tended to finish too early, leaving a black block on one end, although this can be easily cropped out.

Nikon Coolpix S5300 Digital filters

Digital Filters - There are a number of colour modes and even more filters to choose from to make your picture taking unique - we've included a number of examples above.

Video - Below is a video recorded in full 1080p HD - quality is good and the focusing is quick to react when zooming.

Value For Money

The Nikon Coolpix S5300 is available for around £147. Other cameras with the same amount of optical zoom include the Canon IXUS 150 at £90 and the Sony CyberShot W830 at £115. With a little more optical zoom (12x) are the Fujifilm FinePix T500 at £75 (without Wi-Fi), Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ8 at £139, Nikon Coolpix S6800 at £172, and Samsung WB50F at £179.

You'll also need to buy a memory card and a case or bag to keep your camera safe and protected - have a look at our complete guide to camera bags.

Nikon Coolpix S5300 Verdict

The Nikon Coolpix S5300 has plenty of useful features for what looks like a fairly standard, point-and-shoot camera. It has a decent zoom range, optical image stabilisation, decent image quality and built-in Wi-Fi. The Wi-Fi makes it easy for you to transfer images to a smartphone or tablet for editing and sharing - you can also use your mobile device for remote shooting.
You'll have to be careful with the battery life - it has a CIPA rating of just 180 shots and using the Wi-Fi will see the battery run down even quicker - we'd recommend carrying a spare if you intend using the camera frequently between charges. 


Nikon Coolpix S5300 Pros

Images have good colour reproduction
Built-in Wi-Fi
Full HD video recording
Fast continuous shooting speed at full resolution
Compact body

Nikon Coolpix S5300 Cons

Continuous shooting slower than expected
360 panoramas quite often finish too early
Poor battery life


Nikon Coolpix S5300 Specifications

Max Aperturef/3.5 - f/6.5
35mm equivalent26mm - 156mm
Optical Zoom8x
Image Sensor
Pixels16Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)4608
Pixels (H)3456
Sensor TypeCMOS
Sensor Size1/2.3 inch
Sensor Size (width)No Data
Sensor Size (height)No Data
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
  • 16:9
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor3in
Screen resolution460,000 dots
Touch ScreenNo
Min Focus5cm
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Manual
  • Face Detection
  • AF Tracking
  • Centre
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/4000sec
Shutter speeds longest1sec
Bulb modeNo Data
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Scene modes
  • A
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Spot
  • Centre Spot
ISO sensitivity125 - 3200
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Cloudy
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
  • Flash
Exposure Comp+/-2
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting10fps
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1920x1080 FullHD
Video FPS30
Stereo SoundNo
Optical Zoom with VideoNo
Other Features
Image StabilisationYes
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
File Type
  • JPG
Power Source
Battery TypeOne Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL19
Battery Life (CIPA rating)180shots
Box Contents
Box ContentsCamera Strap, Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL19 (with battery case), Charging AC Adapter EH-70P, USB Cable UC-E6, Audio Video Cable EG-CP16, ViewNX 2 CD, Reference Manual CD

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Photographs taken using the Nikon Coolpix S5300

Blackwells Bookshop in OxfordDawning Sun

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